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Order on Jammie Thomas-Rasset's motion for new trial

Order on Jammie Thomas-Rasset's motion for new trial

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Published by Ben Sheffner
Order granting in part and denying in part Defendant's Motion for a New Trial, Remittitur, and to Alter or Amend the Judgment in Capitol v. Jammie Thomas-Rasset. Order reduced award from $80,000 per work to $2,250 per work on common-law remittitur grounds (not constitutional grounds).
Order granting in part and denying in part Defendant's Motion for a New Trial, Remittitur, and to Alter or Amend the Judgment in Capitol v. Jammie Thomas-Rasset. Order reduced award from $80,000 per work to $2,250 per work on common-law remittitur grounds (not constitutional grounds).

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Published by: Ben Sheffner on Jan 22, 2010
Copyright:Public Domain

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12/02/2010

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1
UNITED
 
STATES
 
DISTRICT
 
COURTDISTRICT
 
OF
 
MINNESOTA________________________________________________________________
CAPITOL
 
RECORDS
 
INC.,a
 
Delaware
 
corporation;
 
SONY
 
BMG
 
MUSIC
 
ENTERTAINMENT,
 
a
 
Delaware
 
general
 
partnership;
 
ARISTA
 
RECORDS
 
LLC,
 
a
 
Delaware
 
limited
 
liability
 
company;
 
INTERSCOPE
 
RECORDS,
 
a
 
California
 
general
 
partnership;
 
WARNER
 
BROS.
 
RECORDS
 
INC.,
 
a
 
Delaware
 
corporation;
 
and
 
UMG
 
RECORDINGS,
 
INC.,
 
a
 
Delaware
 
corporation;Plaintiffs,v.
MEMORANDUM
 
OF
 
LAW
 
&
 
ORDER
 
Civil
 
File
 
No.
 
06
1497
 
(MJD/RLE) JAMMIE
 
THOMAS
RASSET,Defendant.
________________________________________________________________
Andrew
 
B.
 
Mohraz,
 
David
 
A.
 
Tonini,
 
and
 
Timothy
 
M.
 
Reynolds,
 
Holme
 
Roberts&
 
Owen,
 
LLP;
 
Felicia
 
 J.
 
Boyd,
 
Kara
 
L.
 
B.
 
Barrow,
 
and
 
Mary
 
Andreleita
 
Walker,Faegre
 
&
 
Benson,
 
LLP;
 
and
 
Matthew
 
 J.
 
Oppenheim,
 
Oppenheim
 
Group,
 
LLP;counsel
 
for
 
Plaintiffs. Joe
 
Sibley
 
and
 
K.
 
A.
 
D.
 
Camara,
 
Camara
 
&
 
Sibley,
 
LLP,
 
and
 
Brant
 
D.
 
Penney
 
andGarrett
 
D.
 
Blanchfield,
 
 Jr.,
 
Reinhardt
 
Wendorf
 
&
 
Blanchfield,
 
counsel
 
forDefendant.
 
Case 0:06-cv-01497-MJD-RLE Document 366 Filed 01/22/10 Page 1 of 38
 
2
________________________________________________________________I.
 
INTRODUCTION
 
This
 
matter
 
is
 
 before
 
the
 
Court
 
on
 
Defendant’s
 
Motion
 
for
 
a
 
New
 
Trial,Remittitur,
 
and
 
to
 
Alter
 
or
 
Amend
 
the
 
 Judgment
 
[Docket
 
No.
 
344]
 
and
 
Plaintiffs’Motion
 
to
 
Amend
 
 Judgment.
 
[Docket
 
No.
 
342]
 
II.
 
SUMMARY
 
OF
 
THE
 
COURT’S
 
OPINION
 
After
 
long
 
and
 
careful
 
deliberation,
 
the
 
Court
 
grants
 
in
 
part
 
and
 
denies
 
inpart
 
Thomas
Rasset’s
 
motion
 
and
 
remits
 
the
 
damages
 
award
 
to
 
$2,250
 
per
 
song
 
three
 
times
 
the
 
statutory
 
minimum.
 
The
 
need
 
for
 
deterrence
 
cannot
 
 justify
 
a
 
$2million
 
verdict
 
for
 
stealing
 
and
 
illegally
 
distributing
 
24
 
songs
 
for
 
the
 
sole
 
purposeof
 
obtaining
 
free
 
music.
 
Moreover,
 
although
 
Plaintiffs
 
were
 
not
 
required
 
toprove
 
their
 
actual
 
damages,
 
statutory
 
damages
 
must
 
still
 
 bear
 
some
 
relation
 
toactual
 
damages.
 
The
 
Court
 
has
 
labored
 
to
 
fashion
 
a
 
reasonable
 
limit
 
on
 
statutory
 
damagesawards
 
against
 
noncommercial
 
individuals
 
who
 
illegally
 
download
 
and
 
uploadmusic
 
such
 
that
 
the
 
award
 
of
 
statutory
 
damages
 
does
 
not
 
veer
 
into
 
the
 
realm
 
ofgross
 
injustice.
 
Finding
 
a
 
precise
 
dollar
 
amount
 
that
 
delineates
 
the
 
 border between
 
the
 
 jury’s
 
wide
 
discretion
 
to
 
calculate
 
its
 
own
 
number
 
to
 
address
Case 0:06-cv-01497-MJD-RLE Document 366 Filed 01/22/10 Page 2 of 38
 
3Thomas
Rasset’s
 
willful
 
violations,
 
Plaintiffs’
 
far
reaching,
 
 but
 
nebulousdamages,
 
and
 
the
 
need
 
to
 
deter
 
online
 
piracy
 
in
 
general
 
and
 
the
 
outrageousnessof
 
a
 
$2
 
million
 
verdict
 
is
 
a
 
considerable
 
task.
 
The
 
Court
 
concludes
 
that
 
setting
 
thelimit
 
at
 
three
 
times
 
the
 
minimum
 
statutory
 
damages
 
amount
 
in
 
this
 
case
 
is
 
themost
 
reasoned
 
solution.
 
This
 
award
 
constitutes
 
the
 
maximum
 
amount
 
a
 
 jury
 
could
 
reasonablyaward
 
to
 
 both
 
compensate
 
Plaintiffs
 
and
 
address
 
the
 
deterrence
 
aspect
 
of
 
theCopyright
 
Act.
 
This
 
reduced
 
award
 
is
 
significant
 
and
 
harsh.
 
It
 
is
 
a
 
higheraward
 
than
 
the
 
Court
 
might
 
have
 
chosen
 
to
 
impose
 
in
 
its
 
sole
 
discretion,
 
 but
 
thedecision
 
was
 
not
 
entrusted
 
to
 
this
 
Court.
 
It
 
was
 
the
 
 jury’s
 
province
 
to
 
determinethe
 
award
 
of
 
statutory
 
damages
 
and
 
this
 
Court
 
has
 
merely
 
reduced
 
that
 
award
 
tothe
 
maximum
 
amount
 
that
 
is
 
no
 
longer
 
monstrous
 
and
 
shocking.
 
Plaintiffs
 
haveseven
 
days
 
from
 
the
 
date
 
of
 
this
 
Order
 
to
 
decide
 
whether
 
to
 
accept
 
the
 
remittituror
 
request
 
a
 
new
 
trial
 
on
 
the
 
issue
 
of
 
damages.
 
The
 
Court
 
denies
 
Thomas
Rasset’s
 
motion
 
for
 
a
 
new
 
trial
 
 based
 
on
 
theadmission
 
of
 
evidence
 
collected
 
 by
 
MediaSentry.
 
It
 
further
 
denies
 
her
 
motion
 
fora
 
new
 
trial
 
 based
 
on
 
Plaintiffs’
 
failure
 
to
 
produce
 
certified
 
copies
 
of
 
the
 
soundrecordings
 
deposited
 
with
 
the
 
Copyright
 
Office.
 
Case 0:06-cv-01497-MJD-RLE Document 366 Filed 01/22/10 Page 3 of 38

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